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Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth: Living in Balance with Nature

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Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth: Living in Balance with Nature

Cleveland International Film Festival

By Brenda Benthien

[Editor's note: Once again, EcoWatch is thrilled to be a media sponsor of the world-renowned Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF). As always, we are promoting the films in CIFF's It's Easy Being Green sidebar sponsored by Great Lakes Brewing Company. We will showcase all 10 eco-films this week and continue to promote them during the festival, April 3 - 14. Each film does an incredible job illustrating our most daunting environmental issues and providing solutions to ensure the well-being of future generations. I encourage you to see these films at CIFF, or at your local film festival or theatre. Documentaries are a great way to educate and motivate people to action.]

From the Mayan creation story the Popol Vuh, we know that “Heart of Sky” is the world’s maker, part of the Mayan cosmovision of oneness with nature. This exquisitely beautiful film introduces us to present-day Mayans, from the highlands of Chiapas to the Lacandon Jungle, who are convinced that humans have forgotten how to live in balance. Keen observers of the modern interplay of economics and nature, they are distraught by the change of weather and the destruction of the Earth. We meet a peaceful people—mistreated for centuries—who protest the Guatemalan authorities’ razing of a holy mountain to mine for gold (the miners’ use of cyanide is causing skin rashes and poisoning the water). The Popol Vuh tells about wooden men with no souls who once ruled but became so selfish that they were destroyed. HEART OF SKY, HEART OF EARTH is a lyrical call for us to heed the wisdom of the ancients before it’s too late.

This film is showing at the CIFF at Tower City Cinemas, 230 W Huron Rd., Cleveland, Ohio 44113 on:

Monday, April 8 at 8:25 p.m.
Tuesday, April 9 at 2:05 p.m.

Visit EcoWatch’s BIODIVERSITY page for more related news on this topic.

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A plume of smoke from wildfires burning in the Angeles National Forest is seen from downtown Los Angeles on Aug. 29, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

California is bracing for rare January wildfires this week amid damaging Santa Ana winds coupled with unusually hot and dry winter weather.

High winds, gusting up to 80- to 90 miles per hour in some parts of the state, are expected to last through Wednesday evening. Nearly the entire state has been in a drought for months, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, which, alongside summerlike temperatures, has left vegetation dry and flammable.

Utilities Southern California Edison and PG&E, which serves the central and northern portions of the state, warned it may preemptively shut off power to hundreds of thousands of customers to reduce the risk of electrical fires sparked by trees and branches falling on live power lines. The rare January fire conditions come on the heels of the worst wildfire season ever recorded in California, as climate change exacerbates the factors causing fires to be more frequent and severe.

California is also experiencing the most severe surge of COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, with hospitals and ICUs over capacity and a stay-at-home order in place. Wildfire smoke can increase the risk of adverse health effects due to COVID, and evacuations forcing people to crowd into shelters could further spread the virus.

As reported by AccuWeather:

In the atmosphere, air flows from high to low pressure. The setup into Wednesday is like having two giant atmospheric fans working as a team with one pulling and the other pushing the air in the same direction.
Normally, mountains to the north and east of Los Angeles would protect the downtown which sits in a basin. However, with the assistance of the offshore storm, there will be areas of gusty winds even in the L.A. Basin. The winds may get strong enough in parts of the basin to break tree limbs and lead to sporadic power outages and sparks that could ignite fires.
"Typically, Santa Ana winds stay out of downtown Los Angeles and the L.A. Basin, but this time, conditions may set up just right to bring 30- to 40-mph wind gusts even in those typically calm condition areas," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Mike Doll.

For a deeper dive:

AP, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, Weather Channel, AccuWeather, New York Times, Slideshow: New York Times; Climate Signals Background: Wildfires, 2020 Western wildfire season

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, sign up for daily Hot News, and visit their news site, Nexus Media News.

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